Tuesday, August 25, 2015

25-Aug-15: Hard to ignore how much Iran believes its old goals are the right goals

FARS News home page at this hour
While some parts of the US mainstream media drop heavy (and loaded) hints about Obama White House displeasure at
Netanyahu’s unprecedented interference in domestic U.S. politics... [McClatchy DC, August 18, 2015]
many of us over here in Iran's backyard and target zone are getting more than a little sick of how the unleashing of Iran's nuclear weaponization scheme has come to be sold to American voters as a matter of exclusive US domestic concern.

Israelis like us actually have some large pre-occupations arising from an unsigned agreement (deliberately unsigned, as we pointed out here) that claims to be all about verifying and neutralizing what the mullahs are up to but in reality seems much more about egregiously-misplaced trust and hope

We're aware of the
precipitous drop in support since the agreement was announced in July. Between a half to two-thirds of the American public currently reject the deal. Those numbers were flipped in reverse before the agreement was finalized... [Source]
But we're also aware of the voices that say this is all about finding the way to peace in a difficult time and place and so on. And how there was no better alternative anywhere to be found, none at all. And with rising despair we're reading advice from people who believe
Here's a taste of the problem we have.

Britain's foreign secretary, with Iran's  president Rouhani
yesterday [Image Source]. Headline reads:
"I believe in Iran’s desire for better ties with the West,'
says Philip Hammond after Tehran trip"
Right now (Tuesday, 6:00 pm Jerusalem time), if you were to go the home page of the influential and somewhat authoritative Iranian government-mouthpiece website FARS News as we just did, you would get a sense of what is on our minds. There's a lead story there bearing this headline: "Parliament Advisor: No Change in Iran's Policy on Israel". (It's archived in full here.)
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker's Adviser for International Affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam blasted British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond for his interfering remarks, and said Tehran's positions against Israel have not changed at all.
"Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan," Sheikholeslam told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday. After reopening the British embassy in Tehran on Sunday following four years of strained relations between the two countries, Hammond claimed in an interview with the British media that the current Iranian government had displayed a more nuanced approach than its predecessor to a long-running conflict with Israel...
Relations between Iran and Britain hit an all-time low in November 2011, when the two countries shut down their diplomatic missions around Britain's key role in the imposition of a new set of western sanctions against Iran and its repeated meddling with Iran's domestic affairs. But after President Rouhani rose to power, he and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, pursued the policy of detente and started talks with London on the resumption of diplomatic ties and reopening embassies...
Does UK foreign secretary Hammond view "annihilation" as part of that more nuanced Iranian stance? If not, then what does he think it means?

Does he know that Iran says officially that it will simply not follow those parts of the nuclear deal that restrict its military capabilities? You can't just ignore this stuff - it's out there on public display via Reuters for anyone who wants to check.

Meanwhile back to Hossein Sheikholeslam, who brings some classically-Iranian qualifications for the job of adviser on international affairs. He was one of the so-called 'students' in the notorious Iran hostage crisis (depicted in the 2012 movie 'Argo') in which 52 American diplomats and civilians were held by force in Tehran between November 4, 1979 and January 20, 1981. They were let loose only on the day Jimmy Carter's presidency ended (the goal was to humiliate him), an illegal incarceration of 444 days.

Sheikholeslam then rose to become the Iranian Foreign Ministry's director for Arab affairs in the 1980's, a role that, according to this article on the website of Radio Free Europe (from 2004) put him in charge, as coordinator, of the
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps participation in Hizballah operations. He was Mohtashami-Pur's Foreign Ministry contact in connection with the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.
You could say he's a well-accomplished terrorist with plenty of blood on his hands. And the designated bearer of a message his bosses have chosen to display on one of their most watched front pages.

Sheikholeslam also happens to be the Iranian regime insider we quoted anonymously a week ago [here] when his government
denied a request by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas to visit Tehran... [and] dismissed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officials' claims that Abbas will make a trip to Tehran in October. "They requested the visit more than once but we haven’t accepted it yet; they have recently repeated their demand once again but we have not provided them with a positive response," he said, according to the news website. Sheikholeslam also stressed Tehran's full support for the “resistance front”, adding that no one can destroy the friendship and strategic relations between Iran and Hamas. [Israel National News, August 20, 2015]
So just to re-state this: the Iranian official who today, at this very hour, is saying in his official capacity and in the most prominent and public of places that Israel must be annihilated is also the Iranian official who managed his country's strategic involvements with the terrorists of both Hamas and Hezbollah. And it's also he who supervised the Iranian part of the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in which 63 people were murdered - mostly embassy and CIA staff members along with several US soldiers and a US Marine.
It was the deadliest attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission up to that time, and is thought of as marking the beginning of anti-U.S. attacks by Islamist groups... [Wikipedia]
Now tell us again why trusting the Iranians is going to bring peace. And why Israel's existential concerns amount to interference in domestic U.S. politics.

It's hard for us to ignore how openly and loudly Iran states that its old goals - those that earned it recognition as a pariah state - are today's right goals. Does making these points mean we're part of the group the president of the United States has taken to calling "the crazies"? Should it matter that most Americans, most Representatives in the House and a majority of the US Senate agree with us?

No comments: